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LIVE! Disappointed with Centre & state: Omar Abdullah after meeting President

by August 20, 2016 General

14:46  Disappointed with Centre & state: Omar Abdullah after meeting President:  

Omar Abdullah and other Opposition leaders from Jammu and Kashmir met the President this afternoon to apprise him of the situation in the troubled state. 

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that the leaders and he were troubled that the state government had not taken any steps to stop the violence, which has already claimed over 45 lives and injured over 3,000. 

“The initiatives that should have been taken up by state government are being taken by the opposition. We are disappointed with the Centre and state,” said Abdullah after his meeting with President Mukherjee. 

14:30  Shobhaa De clarifies on ‘selfie’ tweet, says ‘nothing personal’:  

After drawing a lot of flak on social media for her controversial ‘selfie’ tweet mocking the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics, columnist and author Shobhaa De has clarified her post saying that there was no ‘malicious’ intent behind her tweet.

The famed writer asserted that she was dealing with the backlash on her tweet and had moved past it.

“I don’t want to get into further negativity. There was no malice intended. Sometimes in 140 characters, your sentiments may not be fully expressed as you would want to be conveyed. If a controversy follows, a person like myself who is in the public space, we have to deal with it with a big smile and look forward and look ahead. I don’t believe in that kind of a drama which a lot of people may be comfortable doing that you say something in a tweet and then because of public pressure, you delete the tweet,” she added.

Further stating that she has put the tweet behind her and taken all the trolling, shaming, hate and abuse that came her way, De hoped that the entire nation would move past the debacle by now.

“The time right now is to really rejoice in the few triumphs that we had, especially the three exceptional women athletes, who have proved over and over again that despite the odds, it’s possible to succeed. It’s an individual achievement of theirs. They have done it without infrastructure being the kind of support that they require was not really available to them. So, hats off to them,” she added.

Reiterating her stand that no malice was intended behind her tweet, De said she has been a national level sportsperson herself and she knows how much hard work goes into it.

“I respect athletes because it was because of my athletic and my sports that I even got into college in a sports quota. I hope that ends that,” she added.

14:11  Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan finally gets UK visa:  After a huge controversy, Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan has finally been granted a UK visa. 

Writing on Facebook about getting his visa, Khan said, “My ‘#’UK’ work visa has finally been granted…. I would like to thank everyone for their absolute love extended to me last week over this….was humbling to read all the messages of support…truly means a lot!”

He added, “A special thank you to Keith Vaz for taking such a keen personal interest in the matter. I look forward to performing in London on the 18th of September at the ‪#‎RoyalFestivalHall‬.”

Last week, the sarod maestro’s visa application was rejected by the United Kingdom High Commission

13:56  Andhra ‘ammayi’ or Telangana ‘bidda’, Sindhu is claimed by two states:  Even before Pusarla Venkata Sindhu pumped up the excitement on Friday at Rio, her admirers staked claim to her: both in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The champion shuttler was their ‘ammayi’ (girl, in Telugu), both sides said. Some asserted that she was born and brought up in Hyderabad and was a Telangana ‘bidda.’ The counter was that she belonged to Vijayawada and was therefore an Andhra ‘ammayi’.

13:46  New RBI Governor likely to be announced today:   The finance ministry is likely to announce the next governor of the Rerserve Bank of India today.

As incumbent RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s exit date, which falls on September 4 nears, speculations about his successor have been doing the rounds for the past few weeks.

Former deputy governor Subir Gokarn and current deputy governor Urjit Patel are in the race for the top job.

The other names doing the rounds are that of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Former RBI Deputy Governor Rakesh Mohan, SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

To discuss the same, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for over an hour.

13:39  Karzais back, but wont like what he sees:  Hamid Karzai, former Afghan president, is back in Delhi visiting us, and promptly reciprocated his hosts’ hospitality by nodding concurrence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anguish over the human rights situation in Balochistan. It’s always good to have Karzai saying nice things about us.

13:11  It’s official! Modi’s monogrammed suit is world’s most expensive suit sold:   Remember the suit that had ‘Narendra Damodardas Modi’ monogrammed as pinstripes on it? Well, guess what. The same suit, that was sold in an auction in February 2015, has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘most expensive suit sold ever’.

The suit, that was worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with US President Barack Obama, was sold to the highest bidder, Laljibhai Patel, a diamond baron and private airline owner based in Surat, Gujarat for an astounding Rs 4.31 crore. 

12:30  Don’t cross Lakshman Rekha of beliefs: Sena to court:  Adopting a strident stand towards Supreme Court’s curbs on Dahi Handi in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena today said people will foil such attempts to hinder celebration of Hindu festivals.

“Ganeshotsav, Dahi Handi and Navratra festival are all parts of our beliefs. Courts which are now governing us should not cross the Lakshman Rekha at least in these issues,” the Sena said. 

“People have elected their government in a democratic manner. Let the government do its job. The head atop the government’s body knows what’s right and wrong. If an attempt is made to remove this head and murder democracy, then all tiers of national system will collapse,” it said. 

“The festivals and rituals of Hindus will happen. People will foil attempts to stop them and Shiv Sena will lead this dissent,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana‘ said.

“When courts take on the role of government, they should be ready to face mudslinging,” the Sena said.

12:13  Swaraj delights Twitter again with her humour:  The external minister does it again! When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as minister or congratulating Olympics medal winners or consoling Olympians who had to quit the games after being injured, Sushma Swaraj manages to get everyone to smile. 

Singapore-based countryman Arif Rashid Zargar had been waiting for a while now for his infant son to get a passport. He can’t see his little boy, Ali, in person again, until he gets his documentation. So Zargar tweeted his predicament to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj: “@SushmaSwaraj Maam my 5 month old baby’s passport is pending since a month in PSKsgr due to police verification. 🙁 need your magic advise. @SushmaSwaraj pls help out with my baby’s passport or he will grow thinking whatsapp n skype is his father 🙁 PSK sgr

Swaraj’s reply was what we can, by now, call ‘vintage-Swaraj’.

“Ohh ! That will be too much, pl give me the details. @Gen_VKSingh @CPVIndia @passportsevamea.”

11:50  3 IndiGo pilots grounded for mid-air selfies:  India’s aviation safety regulator has grounded three IndiGo pilots for a week for taking selfies in a cockpit while airborne, a rising phenomenon which distracts pilots and may endanger lives. 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation officially warned some pilots of Indian carriers, and may soon issue guidelines prohibiting mid-air selfies in cockpits, sources said. 

An IndiGo spokesperson said that the pilots have been de-rostered for seven days for selfies taken about 1.5 years ago.

11:27  On Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, West Bengal’s Congress commits faux pas:  Today as the Congress party remembers former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, the West Bengal unit of the party decided to mark his death anniversary by tweeting a quote he was infamous for. 

Bengal’s Congress members might have meant well, but that Rajiv quote didn’t go down well — at all –with anyone, likely not even the Congress top brass. 

The Congress’s Bengal members soon deleted the tweet but the damage was done. The quote in question was Rajiv’s comment days after his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

“When a big tree falls, the earth shakes,” Rajiv said, rather unfortunately, back then.

11:16  Biopic on PV Sindhu’s coach Gopichand in the offing?:   Along with PV Sindhu, another person whose stature has phenomenally grown in course of the Rio Olympics is her coach, Pullela Gopichand.

The persona of Gopi — as he is better known within the badminton circuit — is set to get bigger with a Hindi-Telugu biopic being planned on the 2001-All England Badminton champion.

Abhisek Nama, the biopic producer, believes Gopi’s exploits will be as much a hit on celluloid as he had been on the court.

“Gopichand’s life is very filmy, the early struggle, his love story, his mother’s emotion, his injury that almost finished his career and then his win that changed the face of Indian badminton. It is a story waiting to be told,” says Nama.

To be directed by national award-winning director Praveen Sattaru, the film `Pullela Gopichand’ will be the first on an Indian badminton player, though Amole Gupte of ‘Stanley ka Dubba’ fame is also reportedly planning a film on Saina Nehwal.

The film is scheduled to go on the floor this November and will be shot across Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru and Birmingham.

10:57  Modi pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on birth anniversary:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today remembered former premier Rajiv Gandhi on his 72nd birth anniversary. “Remembering former PM Rajiv Gandhi ji on his birth anniversary,” he said in a tweet.

Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944. He served as prime minister from 1984 to 1989. Rajiv Gandhi took office after the assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

He was assassinated in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

10:43  Kashmir unrest: J-K opposition leaders to meet President Mukherjee today:  An all-party delegation from Jammu and Kashmir led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah will meet President Pranab Mukherjee this afternoon to apprise him about the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The decision came at a meeting attended by members of the National Conference, Congress, Communist Party, Democratic Party Front, Awami Ittehad Party and People’s Democratic Front participated on Wednesday.

The members decided to seek a suitable time from President Mukherjee so that they can apprise him that the situation in the Valley is turning for the worse due to the non-stop killing of people.

“When you say Kashmir is an integral part of India, you are talking the land not of people. Make people yours too. A small problem with Gujarat and the prime minister spoke to the people there in Gujarati; why our problem is not important enough,” Omar asked.

“We want the Centre to take emergent steps to check excessive use of force. There is a need for a judicial probe into the Kashmir situation,” said Omar, alleging that both the Central and state governments “totally failed” to stop the killings of civilians in the Valley.

Omar said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had been blaming Pakistan for the unrest. “Yes, they are playing a negative role, but it is the security forces who are killing youth and other people of the Valley,” he said. 

He said Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue and should be solved politically. “But unfortunately, the Centre has been saying ‘Kashmir is integral part of India’; they are not talking about the Valley people, they are only taking about the land of Kashmir,” he added.

Omar said they would try to meet leaders of all political parties in Delhi and also former judges of the Supreme Court urging them to help resolve the problem.

Holding Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti responsible for the unrest, the leader of opposition said, “She has played worst form of politics by holding everybody from Nehru to Modi (responsible for the Kashmir situation). Unlike Peoples Democratic Party, which actively lobbied for dismissal of my government, I neither sought the dismissal of Mehboobaji’s government nor had asked for her resignation. This is not a battle for chairs; this is about safeguarding the future generation of Jammu and Kashmir.”

10:35  Delhi government offers promotion to Rio winner Sakshi’s father:  Delhi government has offered a promotion to Subir Malik, the father of Rio Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, who works as a conductor in Delhi Transport Corporation. 

In a communication to Delhi transport minister Satyendar Jain, Delhi deputy chief minister Sisodia said, “One of our colleagues (Sakshi’s father Subir Malik), while working as a conductor, created such an atmosphere for her daughter so that she could raise the honour of the nation…

“I propose that apart from felicitating Sakshi Malik, the government should felicitate her family, especially her father. I recommend for the promotion of Subir Malik for his contribution,” he said.

The state government has also announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore to Sakshi Malik and a Rs 2 crore cash prize to Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu.

10:07  Mumbai: Uber driver booked for molesting Italian national:  The Santacruz police registered an FIR against a driver, identified as Shehbaaz, employed by cab aggregator Uber for allegedly molesting a passenger, an Italian national, on Thursday night. A Facebook status uploaded by the victim’s friend on Facebook went viral, with over 7000 users sharing it.

The friend outlined the incident on Facebook:

Last night an expat girl friend who is currently working in Bombay took an Uber from my house in Pali Hill to 7 Bungalows. She asked us if Uber was safe and all of us jumped to assure her that she was in ‘Bombay’ and she had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately we were proved wrong because this Uber driver tried to molest her on their way to Versova. 

He spoke to her in a friendly manner when she first got in and asked her where she was from and made small talk. Later, he said that since the roads in Mumbai are horrible she was welcome to come sit in the passenger seat up front with him. 

When she refused to move he complained about low visibility through his back screen and told her he was going to pull over to clean it. She was very uncomfortable but allowed him to stop to clean the screen. She was surprised when he came to the back seat under the pretext of cleaning the window from the inside and proceeded to put his hand on her thigh and tried to feel her up. 

She panicked and tried to push him off and only when she started shouting at him did he move off her and go back to his seat. She managed to jump off and get home safely.

But what angers me is that this has happened in Bombay! I cannot believe this happened to my friend. This happens because there are no consequences! And Uber? How many of us are using Uber? I’m expecting Uber to deal with this in a way that scares any Uber driver from violating someone. While we are going to make an official police complaint, Uber needs to check the backgrounds of their drivers and have consequences. 

09:58  Army admits Kashmir teacher killed by soldiers:  Amid protests in Kashmir, the army admitted today that a 32-year-old school teacher was beaten to death by its soldiers during overnight raids at a village and called it “absolutely unjustified and unacceptable”.

Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, who taught at a government school, was killed when he and several others were thrashed on Wednesday night at Khrew, 40 km from Srinagar.

His family alleges that the army searched house to house for protesters and beat Shabir mercilessly. The death has led to fresh protests in Kashmir, which has seen clashes in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8. 

“These raids are not sanctioned at any level. Let me tell you what happened when one person was killed in the beating by army persons. It’s unjustified. Nobody can support this. And there’s absolutely no sanction for these actions,” Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda said. 

09:39  IAF rescues pregnant woman in Jammu:   At a time when the defence services in India are being slammed, here comes a story that might help the situation. 

On Friday, the Indian Air Force Indian came to the rescue of a pregnant woman as they airlifted her from mountainous Nawapachi belt of Kishtwar to Udhampur in Jammu and later admitted her to a hospital. 

Samina Begum, 28, was in a critical condition due to profuse bleeding when the district administration sought the help of the IAF, a district administration official said. 

“After receiving the message of the district administration, we flew a chopper to Nawapachi and airlifted her,” an Udhampur-based defence spokesperson said. “She was flown in a Chetak helicopter. However, due to bad weather the chopper could not make it to Jammu and landed at Udhampur IAF station. She was taken to IAF’s hospital in Udhampur where she is now admitted,” he added.

09:39  ‘Sindhu, I’m your fan’, tweets Rajinikanth. 14,000 retweets and counting:   The entire country celebrated PV Sindhu winning the silver medal in the women’s singles match at the Rio Olympics. Superstar Rajinikanth, who rarely tweets, declared himself a fan of the young player. 

His tweet had been retweeted over 14,000 times and still counting. His tweet read, “Hats off to you #PVSindhu …. I have become a great fan of yours … Congratulations!”

Other celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar to name a few also tweeted their congratulations to the silver girl!

09:29  JUST IN: RJD leader Vinod Yadav shot dead by unidentified criminals in Bhagalpur district of Bihar.

02:22  NC leader, family escape unhurt in militant attack:   A senior National Conference leader and former legislator escaped unhurt along with his family in a grenade attack by suspected militants at his house in Shopian district of south Kashmir, police said on Friday.

Unidentified militants hurled the grenade at the residential place of Sheikh Mohammad Rafi at village Kachdoora, 50 km from Srinagar, late on Friday night, a police official said.

He said the grenade landed on the lawns of the heavily-guarded house and exploded without causing any damage. Rafi along with his family was present in the house at the time of the attack.

01:24  Who will be Pakistan’s next Army Chief:  When Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finally sits down to choose Gen Raheel Sharif’s successor, his decision will be guided by personal choices, political considerations, and, in a couple of cases, his own experience of working with the candidates — with a great temptation to go for someone safe, retired and serving bureaucrats and military officials were quoted as saying by Dawn.

The succession would take place upon the retirement of Gen Sharif at the end of November.

The line-up is more or less clear. Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Zubair Hayat is the senior most followed by Multan Corps Commander Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

There are two other generals between Gen Zubair and Gen Ishfaq Heavy Industrial Complex Taxila Chairman Lt Gen Syed Wajid Hussain and Director General Joint Staff Lt Gen Najibullah Khan but both are not technically qualified to be appointed army chief since they have not commanded a corps.

Lt Gen Maqsood Ahmed, who is serving as military adviser with the United Nations, is already on an extension and not eligible for promotion either.

All four generals eligible for promotion are from the 62nd PMA Long Course.

Read full report HERE

00:37  I’ve become your fan, says Rajinikanth to Sindhu:  P V Sindhu’s performance at the Olympics has earned her many fans, including none other than Superstar Rajinikanth!

Rajinikanth, who doesn’t use Twitter as often as other celebrities do, took to the microblogging site to congratulate Sindhu sometime after she bagged a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.  

‘Hats off to you #PVSindhu …. I have become a great fan of yours … Congratulations!’ he wrote.

Within a couple of hours, the tweet got over 11,000 re-tweets and 21,000 favourites. That’s the magic of Rajini.

One must ask Sindhu right now that how does it feel when Rajinikanth tells you, ‘I’m your big fan’.